Black Liberation Reading List, Theater Division

Of the 94 books on the Black Liberation Reading List from the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center, only three are plays: “Fences” by August Wilson, “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, and “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage. A few more are what you could call theater-adjacent, including the memoir by performer Harry Belafonte, and the book of poems by playwright Amiri Baraka.

However, a related list of thousands of journal articles, books and primary sources created by the digital library JSTOR and available for free through the end of the year, features many theater-related works.

A Sample:

Black (Play) Is… Black (Play) Ain’t: The Gumbo of Theatrical Blackness
Annemarie Bean

By: NTOZAKE SHANGE”, “Marlon B. Ross
Callaloo, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Summer, 2014), pp. 486-489
The Johns Hopkins University Press

“A Raisin in the Sun”: Anniversary of an American Classic

Margaret B. Wilkerson
Theatre Journal
Vol. 38, No. 4, Theatre of Color (Dec., 1986), pp. 441-452 (12 pages)

Alice Childress, Lorraine Hansberry, and Claudia Jones: Black Women Write the Popular Front
Mary Helen Washington
pp. 183-204 (22 pages)

Lloyd Richards: Reminiscence of a Theatre Life and Beyond
N. Graham Nesmith and Lloyd Richards
African American Review
Vol. 39, No. 3 (Fall, 2005), pp. 281-298 (18 pages)
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press 
on behalf of African American Review (St. Louis University)

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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